Obama declares US not at war with Islam
President Barack Obama and Turkey's President Abdullah Gul hold a joint news AP – President Barack Obama and Turkey's President Abdullah Gul hold a joint news conference in Ankara, Turkey, …
4 mins ago
ANKARA, Turkey – Barack Obama, making his first visit to a Muslim nation as president, declared Monday the United States "is not at war with Islam" and called for a greater partnership with the Islamic world.
Addressing the Turkish parliament, Obama called the country an important U.S. ally in many areas, including the fight against terrorism. He devoted much of his speech to urging a greater bond between Americans and Muslims, portraying terrorist groups such as al Qaida as extremists who did not represent the vast majority of Muslims.
"Let me say this as clearly as I can," Obama said. "The United States is not at war with Islam. In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical in rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject."
The U.S. president is trying to mend fences with a Muslim world that felt it had been blamed by America for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyia, two of the biggest Arabic satellite channels, carried Obama's speech live.
Obama said the partnership between the U.S. and the Muslim world is critical in rolling back what he called a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject.
"America's relationship with the Muslim world cannot and will not be based on opposition to al Qaida," he said. "We seek broad engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect."
"We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country," Obama said.
Obama also said, to a round of applause, that the United States supports Turkey becoming a member of the European Union.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090406/ap_on_go_pr_wh/eu_obama;_ylt=AlKmVoTYHeM6b7JT3yzmRQFbbBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTJiOWZ1YTEwBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNDA2L2V1X29iYW1hBGNwb3MDMgRwb3MDMgRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3JpZXMEc2xrA29iYW1hZGVjbGFyZQ--